“A long-planned cafe, incubator and co-working space in Little Village is now slated to be built across the street from its original proposal — and more than double in size.
“Xquina Cafe is now expected to be built in two buildings at 3523 and 3525 W. 26th St., allowing it to increase from a planned 6,000 square feet to 13,000 square feet, according to the the Little Village Chamber of Commerce.
“The project is estimated to cost $4.6 to $4.8 million. A combination of funding from the city, state, foundations and private capital will be used to launch Xquina. The chamber is awaiting on final City Council approval to increase its Neighborhood Opportunity Fund grant from $250,000 to $1.5 million, Chamber Executive Director Blanca Soto said.
“The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund program allows developers to pay a fee to build bigger and taller projects Downtown. The money they pay into the fund is then used to support projects in city neighborhoods.
“The Xquina project is being broken up into two phases. Later this year, the chamber wants to start the first phase, which includes restoring the exterior of the 1888 building and completing the first floor interior. Officials expect to have the first phase done by next spring or early summer.
“‘We are doing this for our community. It belongs to the community but it’s not without sacrifice,’ Saldana said. The project is community led at every level from design to construction to programming, Saldana said.
“It is a ‘preservation project,’ Saldana said. ‘We want to preserve not only the integrity of the building but also the culture of the community.’
“While the project has grown in size, Saldana said the mission hasn’t changed. The project aims to bring more resources to “create more community wealth” through various programming and partnerships and help “revitalize portions of the 26th Street corridor,” Saldana said.” (Peña, 8/21/20)
Little Village’s Xquina Cafe And Incubator Will More Than Double In Size, Move Across The Street; The planned project will now include a shared commercial kitchen and gallery event space. Mauricio Peña, Block Club Chicago, 8/21/20